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September 11 Attacks

Fear and freedom after the Paris attacks

Fear and freedom after the Paris attacks

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was a pilot in the U.S. Navy assigned to a strategic communications aircraft. As the Twin Towers fell, our crew of about 15 was moved from a routine state of response capability to what I will call an "extremely ready" alert posture. As we reviewed our procedures and prepared for the worst, we had some time to discuss what had happened. No one on my crew was more angered by the actions of the terrorists that day than our flight engineer. He was an incredibly capable aviator, a terrific leader, and a long time Navy vet. He was also an Iranian-American.

A few days after the 11th, we made our way back to our home base through eerily quiet skies. Because...